Lotus root is the long, tubular rhizome (or stem) of the plant known for its pale pink, white or yellow blooms.
The rhizome has an ‘eye’ at one end, from which small roots extend into the ground and an internode at the other, from which numerous tubers can extend. Growing in strands, like links of sausages growing up from the mud, the stem can grow up to four feet in length.
Young Lotus root can have a light purple or white skin; when mature, Lotus root has a brown-beige skin and its size can vary from short and squat to longer and narrow. Under the thin-skin, etched into the creamy white flesh of the Lotus root is a series of air pockets patterned in a pin-wheel shape that appear as if they once held seeds.
These seed-shaped pockets allow for the foliage to rest buoyantly in water while the plant is alive. The root has a dense, crunchy and starchy texture with a faintly nutty and sweet flavor, similar to that of a water chestnut or taro root. The younger roots are more tender and used for fresh culinary purposes whereas mature roots are preferred in dried form. Lotus root can be found peeled and packed in a brine, frozen or dried.
We gathered some of the best recipes we found on Pinterest to share with you! See our LOTUS ROOT RECIPE board on Pinterest for more inspirations.